This isn't to say that we shouldn't continue to try to do a better job, however. We can simultaneously hold the ideas that we are "good enough", while at the same time knowing that we can do even better. To really rise to our potential, to enjoy this process of raising children, learning and growing are key. And in order to learn and grow, we need to take care of ourselves. It's the familiar "put your oxygen mask on first..." concept. Which makes sense and sounds great, but can be so hard to do in the midst of working, laundry, and shuttling kids around. So here's the deal -- we need a plan.
As a crazy coincidence, as I've been thinking about these ideas of self-care and self-compassion this week, I happened to be listening to a recorded conversation between two authors, Lissa Ranking and Brenee Brown, and they touched on this very topic of taking care of themselves. Here's what they both said: they have written themselves their own health prescriptions. They have these prescriptions written on pieces of paper that they carry around with them. On their lists are things like how much sleep they need, foods they avoid, exercise schedules, and other items that fall into the category of "sanity maintenance", like limiting work hours and getting comfortable with saying "no".
Before this, I hadn't really thought about how I take care of myself as a "prescription" before, but the idea really resonates with me. Without knowing it, I would say that up until now my prescription has included:
- 9 Hours of Sleep: I'm a sleeper -- always have been, always will be. For years I've envied those who could get by on seven hours or less (my uncle is a four-hour per night person), and tried to get by on less myself for a while, hoping I could train my body. Nope. So finally I've accepted it -- I'm a sleeper.
- Daily Meditation. I've written a lot about this recently, so will only say that I'm on my cushion for 30-minutes a day. When I miss a day, my emotions and energy suffer.
- No Sugar or Flour. I started following the Paleo diet when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and it has made a world of difference for me. I have almost no inflammation in my body, and have much less pain than others who have the same health issues I do. The first weeks coming off of sugar were tough, I can't deny it, but they were totally worth it. I eat protein, vegetables, and some fruit (low glycemic, primarily apples) and have no sugar cravings.
|Sooo fresh -- we picked them ourselves!|
"Enjoying a life of extreme self care means living and working in a soul-nurturing environment; developing a greater appreciation for, and connection with, nature; doing work that provides an opportunity to express your greatest gifts and talents; and caring for your emotional, physical, and spiritual health in a way that's aligned with who you are and what you most need."
- Cheryl Richardson, Extreme Self-Care